Citizen Monitoring Program

2012 WATER QUALITY REPORTS AND SUMMARIES
Sept 26 - Oct 19

Here is the eighth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period of Sept 26th to Oct 19th.

  • The weather was a bit cooler and wetter than normal.
  • Dissolved oxygen conditions improved at most locations, but low DO persisted at several sites in canals and tributaries early in the period. Many sites had DO above 5.0 ppm (not listed on report).
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were generally reduced and minor.
  • Total Enterococcus (TE) bacteria levels were elevated in a several diverse locations, and may have been related to recent rain events, particularly on Oct 16-17.
  • Low levels of potentially toxic blue green algae (Aphanizomenon, Microcystis) remained in some ponds. Low levels of algae that may harm fish (Heterosigma, Karlodinium) remained in the estuary. Low levels of algae that may contaminate shellfish (Pseudo-Nitzchia) were seen at the Indian River Inlet.
Sept 5 - 26

Here is the seventh set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period of Sept 5th to Sept 26th.

  • It was warm and wet through Sept 9, then rather cool and dry for the rest of the period.
  • Dissolved oxygen conditions improved at most sites, but remained very poor (< 2 ppm) in some canals and tributaries.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were generally reduced and minor. There was one major accumulation of seaweed at Pot Nets Seaside, which was dominated by Codium.
  • Total Enterococcus (TE) bacteria levels were generally reduced although values remained elevated in a few tributaries and streams.
  • A Harmful Algae Bloom at the Prime Hook boat ramp was dominated by potentially toxic Anabaena spp. but contained a mixture of other potentially toxic and bloom forming species. High densities of Heterosigma akashiwo were seen in Torquay canal. In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Pseudo-nitzchia spp. and Dinophysis acuminata were present at various times at low cell densities.
Aug 15 - Sept 5

Here is the sixth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period of Aug 15th to Sept 5th.

  • Rainfall was above average and temperatures have been a bit below average.
  • Dissolved oxygen conditions have remained poor.  Several canals and tributaries, and one Rehoboth bay site (West Bay Park) recorded D.O. below 2.0 mg/L.  There was a fish kill (White Perch) in Deep Hole Creek over the holiday weekend.  Over the past few weeks, D.O. in Deep Hole Creek and in 2 nearby sites in the Prime Hook NWR was near zero at times.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were largely limited to the headwaters of the Broadkill River and in 2 nearby ponds.
  • Total Enterococcus bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in relatively few, but diverse locations, including tributaries, canals, bays, a stream and a pond.
  • Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) were limited.   A dense mixed species bloom dominated by potentially toxic Anabaena sp. was observed at the Prime Hook boat ramp.  In the estuaries, a few modest blooms of Raphidophytes were seen in Dirickson and Williams creeks (Little Assawoman Bay).  In the ocean, Pseudo-nitzchia was consistently present at low cell densities, but Karenia papilionacaea was only detected intermittently.
July 26 - Aug 15

Here is the fifth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period from July 26 to Aug 15.

  • Cloudy conditions and/or reduced daylength have moderated temperatures.  Thunderstorms have been more widespread, but rainfall for the season is still below normal.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4 ppm) were widespread, and severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were consistently found in several canals and a few tributaries.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were seen at a limited number of sites. Most were minor, except at Diamond Pond.
  • Total Enterococcus (TE) bacteria levels were somewhat elevated in a few streams and tributaries.  A very elevated sample from Wagamons Pond was collected from an area of recent waterfowl roosting and is likely not to be representative of the entire pond.
  • Harmful algae blooms in the estuaries included some moderately dense blooms of potentially toxic and non-toxic species.  In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Dinophysis acuminata, and Pseudo-Nitzchia sp. were detected at low cell densities.  Beach-goers and lifeguards in Bethany Beach noticed unusually green water that was a bloom of the non-toxic flagellate, Eutreptiella.   Potentially toxic blue-green algae reached high densities at the Prime Hook Boat ramp (Anabaena) and in Wagamons Pond (Microcystis).
July 3 - 27

Here is the fourth set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period from July 3 to July 27.

  • Needless to say, it has been hot with scattered thunderstorms that have generally delivered below average rainfall.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4 ppm) were widespread, and severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were found in several canals and a few tributaries.
  • Accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were seen at a limited number of sites. Most were minor, except at Diamond Pond.  Major accumulations were also observed on July 9 at Pot Nets Seaside.
  • Note that there are 2 Total Enterococcus (TE) bacteria reports (early July and late July) so that people can see the early July numbers.  On July 9, heavy rain in the morning contributed to elevated values at many sites.  Late July values were generally more moderate.
  • Harmful algae blooms in the estuaries included two dense blooms of potentially toxic Chattonella spp. at the Prime Hook boat ramp, and a few dense blooms of non-toxic species elsewhere.  In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea, Dinophysis acuminata, and Pseudo-Nitzchia sp. were detected at low cell densities.  Potentially toxic blue-green algae appeared in Wagamons Pond and the head of the Broadkill River.  A very dense bloom of potentially toxic blue-green algae in Silver Lake Rehoboth on 7/14 was largely gone by 7/23.
June 11 - July 5

Here is the third set of UD Citizen Monitoring Program Reports for 2012 covering the period from June 11 to July 5.

  • In spite of a few cool days in mid-June with persistent easterly winds, it has been hot with scattered thunderstorms.
  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4.0 ppm) were widespread.  Severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were observed in a few canals in South Bethany and in a few tributaries in the Broadkill watershed.
  • Major accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation remain in Diamond and Wagamons Ponds.  In the estuaries, major accumulations were noted in canals in Fenwick and South Bethany, at the mouth of Guinea Creek, and at Pot Nets Seaside on Indian River Bay.
  • Total Enterococcus bacteria (TE) levels were elevated in a few streams, a pond, and in a few tidal tributaries.
  • In the estuaries, Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) were limited to a few blooms of potentially toxic Chattonella species, and a few blooms of non-toxic species.  In the ocean, Karenia papilionacea was detected at low densities for the first time this season at the Indian River Inlet.
May 23 - June 12

Here is the second set of Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2012, covering the period May 23 to June 12.  The weather has continued to pretty normal for the season.

  • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (D.O. < 4 ppm) became more widespread in the tributaries.  Severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were seen in 5 sites in the South Bethany canals and in 3 tributaries of the Broadkill River.
  • In the estuaries, major accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were restricted to one canal in South Bethany and one in Fenwick Island.  Major accumulations have developed in Diamond and Wagamon’s Pond in Milton.
  • Total Enterococcus (TE) levels were elevated in the upper portions of Guinea and Dirickson Creeks, the south end of the Assawoman canal, one canal off White Creek and one canal in South Bethany.  In the Broadkill watershed, TE was elevated in the Ingram Branch, the Prime Hook Creek boat ramp, Wagamon’s Pond, and Old Mill Creek.
  • Harmful Algae Blooms were limited.  There were a few modest blooms of potentially toxic Chattonella species in South Bethany canals mixed with blooms of non-toxic species.  Other potentially toxic species were present at many other sites at low cell densities.  High cell densities of a small unidentified flagellate occurred at the Prime Hook boat ramp.
April - May

Here is the first set of Citizen Monitoring Reports for 2012 covering the months of April and May.  Subsequent reports will follow every 2 weeks or so during the summer, and the reports will be archived here.

    • Rather warm and dry conditions persisted into April, but temperatures and rainfall became more normal in May.
    • Low Dissolved Oxygen readings (< 4 ppm) were detected at many sites in upper tributaries and residential canals, and severely low readings (< 2 ppm) were detected at a few of these sites.
    • Minor accumulations of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation were reported from many sites, but major accumulations, including floating mats, were reported from several sites in the South Bethany canals (filamentous green algae) in April and May, but only recently from Diamond Pond (mix of submerged vascular plants and filamentous algae).
    • Total Enterococcus (TE) levels were elevated in streams in the Broadkill watershed, a few tributaries of the Inland Bays, the Assawoman canal, and at a bayside site in Fenwick Island.
    • Prorocentrum minimum, a potentially toxic species, was commonly seen in April, and a very dense bloom was observed in a canal off White Creek.  Karlodinium veneficum was particularly widespread in May, but bloom densities remained below levels that have been associated with fish kills in the mid-Atlantic region.  Dinophysis acuminata, a species of concern for shellfish toxicity at relatively low cell densities was observed at relatively high cell densities in Torquay canal.  Dense blooms of unknown flagellates were detected at the Primehook boat ramp.

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